Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dealing with Georgia's 2014 gubernatorial race

Nathan Deal who originally was a member of Congress elected for the first time in the 1992 election.  Originally, he was a Democrat but he switched party lines by 1995 and became a Republican.  He served in the House of Representatives until 2010.  In 2010, he decided to run for the governor's mansion.  During the Republican primary for the Republican nomination, he finished second, finishing a distant 11 points behind Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel.  But since no Republican won the primary with 50% of the vote, there was a run-off election.  Deal was endorsed by one of Georgia's favorite sons, Newt Gingrich,  evangelical favorite Mike Huckabee, and Congressman Jack Kingston in the run-off election. But Handel had her own supporters, as Mama Grizzly, herself, Sarah Palin, endorsed Handel and immigrant reform punching bag, Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, did, too.  Deal defeated Handel in the run-off 50.2-49.8.  It was a difference of about 2,000 votes.  In the general election, Deal defeated former governor Roy Barnes 53-43.  Despite Barnes's staunch moderatism as governor, Deal did a nice job of connecting Barnes with Obama and turning it into a referendum on the President.  Combined with the Tea Party wave and general displeasure with the party in power in mid-term elections, Deal defeated Barnes 53-43.

Deal is up for re-election in 2014 and looks like he'll be difficult to defeat at the ballot box in November of 2014.

His favorability is as follows:

Favorable
Unfavorable
Not sure
44
32
23

Public Policy Polling, as it is wont to do, delivers their hypothetical match-ups.  While none of the Democrats they matched up against him, look good, right now, it is still interesting to look at.

Against Democratic State Representative, and House Minority Leader, Stacey Abrams, the following happens.

Nathan Deal
47
Stacey Abrams
34
Not sure
19
The positive sign for Abrams is that her name recognition is only 23% right now.  While only 9% see her favorable right now, it's easier to educate people than it is to change people's minds.

Deal matches up favorably with grandson of former President, Jimmy Carter, Georgia State Senator, Jason Carter, as well.

Nathan Deal
48
Jason Carter
33
Not sure
19
Carter's name recognition is in the same boat as Abrams.  His favorability is 7/16 right now.  But get that name recognition up, and who knows what could happen.

Against, Georgia state Representative Scott Holcomb, the match-up looks like this.

Nathan Deal
48
Scott Holcomb
28
Not sure
24
The common perception is that if they could get their name recognition up, it might change the race.  Let's see how the race shakes out, according to party lines.



Democrat
Republican
Independent/Other
Nathan Deal
9
82
47
Stacey Abrams
69
4
27
Not sure
22
14
26


Democrat
Republican
Independent/Other
Nathan Deal
11
85
46
Jason Carter
68
2
28
Not sure
21
13
26


Democrat
Republican
Independent/Other
Nathan Deal
12
83
46
Scott Holcomb
60
3
19
Not sure
29
13
35
First of all, congratulations to the Republican party in Georgia for being so unified.  The Democratic candidates are getting very few of the Republican votes in Georgia.  But there is some room for improvement for the Democratic part in Georgia, if they want to win the Governor's mansion.  The best candidates for the Democratic party right now are either Abrams or Carter.  Both of them need to work on their name recognition for Democrats and Independents.  While Deal has a fairly large lead right now, in the hypothetical match-ups, he's not over the magical 50% threshold right now.  Abrams and Carter should focus their efforts to get their name out there and distinguish themselves from Deal.  Without doing these things, Deal will coast to re-election. 

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